Question: [Sunday, 9th Adar 5781]
I wake up often in middle of the night to use the bathroom and I always wondered what I should do about saying the blessing of Asher Yatzar. Do I have to say it right away after using the bathroom, or can I, or should I, delay saying it until the morning blessings where I will anyway say Asher Yatzar? I would also appreciate if you can let me know what order I should follow regarding washing hands when I wake up to go to the bathroom in middle of the night.
We do not delay the blessing of Asher Yatzar until morning and it is therefore to be said after each time you use the bathroom in middle of the night.
The order you should follow is such: One who wakes up in middle of the night to use the bathroom should first wash his hands next to his bed before walking, then use the bathroom, then wash his hands again afterwards, and then immediately recite Asher Yatzar. If it is already past midnight, you may choose to already wash hands after the bathroom like you would by the second morning washing and already recite the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim, and then immediately after recite Asher Yatzar. You don’t have to do so, however, if you plan to return to sleep and may simply wash after the bathroom without any blessing, and recite Asher Yatzar. If, however, it is already past daybreak then you should specifically do this order even though you still plan to return to sleep, and therefore you should wash hands after the bathroom and recite the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim, and then immediately after recite Asher Yatzar and Elokaiy Neshama, and you may then return to sleep.
Repeating Asher Yatzar in the morning: In the event that you went to the bathroom and already said Asher Yatzar in middle of the night, then you do not repeat it again in the morning upon awakening together with the other morning blessings unless you go to the bathroom again.
Explanation: Regarding whether one who uses the bathroom in middle of the night is to right away say Asher Yatzar or whether he may delay it until morning, and have it included in the Asher Yatzar recited in the morning blessings, we find a debate amongst Poskim, with the vast majority of them ruling that the blessing is not to be delayed until morning and is rather to be said right away after using the bathroom in middle of the night. The reason for this is twofold: 1) It is always proper to say the blessing of Asher Yatzar right away in close proximity to the benefit that one got from going to the bathroom. 2) According to some Poskim, delaying the blessing until one needs to use the bathroom again causes one’s original Asher Yatzar to expire, hence making it that he never recited Asher Yatzar for his first bathroom use. Furthermore, according to some Poskim, Asher Yatzar can only be said for a certain amount of time after using the bathroom and this time will surely expire if one were to delay its recital until morning. Accordingly, to avoid all this, the Poskim rule that the blessing should be said right away after using the bathroom in middle of the night and not be delayed. Now, while there are Poskim who hold that in truth there is never an expiration for the recital of Asher Yatzar, and even if one needs to use the bathroom again, his recital of Asher Yatzar counts for both bathroom uses, and so seems to be the opinion of Admur, and so indeed rules the Makor Chaim and other Poskim that one may delay saying Asher Yatzar in middle of the night until the morning, nonetheless it is best to follow the previous opinion in order to do according to all and also due to the first reason mentioned above that one should never initially delay the blessing of Asher Yatzar even if technically it can be included in a later recital.
Sources: Regarding not to delay the Asher Yatzar see: M”B 4:3; Chesed Lialafim 6:3; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei 12; Pnei Yitzchak 1:8; Maharam Di Lunzo in Matzas Shemurim p. 6; Birkeiy Yosef 6:3; Shalmei Tzibur p. 45; Zechor Leavraham Brachos 1:1; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 7:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 7 footnote 7; For the dissenting opinion see: Opinion in M”B 4:3; Levush 4 and 6:1; Yad Aaron on Tur 6; Kisei Eliyahu 7:1; Makor Chaim of Chavos Yair 7:7; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 7:7; For the opinion of Admur, see: Admur 7:13; [It is implied from Admur, from the fact the only reason why one does not say the blessing of Asher Yatzar twice after going to the bathroom a second time is because the blessing includes also the first time, and not because the blessing of the first time is lost, that his Asher Yatzar of the morning would cover all the nights bathroom uses. Nonetheless, certainly this is only Bedieved as we never tell a person to accumulate all his bathroom uses during the day and say one Asher Yatzar at night for them] Regarding washing hands with a blessing after midnight see: Siddur Admur; Admur Kama 4:14; Rav Raskin in “Notes on Siddur“page 10; Regarding repeating Asher Yatzar the next morning see: Admur 6:1; Rama 4:1; Ketzos Hashulchan 5:2 as rules Admur in Kama 4:14 and 6:1